Burning Man began in 1986 with very humble ideas and purposes. It wasn’t until years later that the festival started booming and the organizers began incorporating themes into the annual desert trip.
The themes have generally been vague and widely applicable, such as this year’s “Radical Ritual,” or they’ve been quite specific, as in 2016’s “Da Vinci’s Workshop.” This year, Burning Man has announced a theme of “I, Robot,” based on Isaac Asimov’s popular sci-fi series from the 1950s.
As society becomes more engrossed by technology, it’s possible that the point of return may have already passed.
“When pressed to pinpoint exactly when [the machine takeover] will occur, its acolytes reply that it may have already happened — its advent will elude the grasp of slimy brains.”
Burning Man is about escapism, but its more about connecting deeply with your human side and interconnecting with other humans in an environment that breeds creativity and community while eschewing typical daily annoyances like emails and reliance on technology.
At the same time, Burning Man somewhat resembles a post-technology world, one in which people are reliant on others and have regressed to a time when humanity isn’t reliant on machines or microchips.
There’s no doubt that attendees will embrace this year’s theme and create some of the most stunning artworks we’ve seen in recent years. Read more from the Burning Man Journal.